Road Rash Reviews

Naked Lunch (1991) 4K UHD Review*****

Cert 18 | 115 mins | 2023

5 star 4K restoration of a timelessly surreal masterpiece.

Naked Lunch is a cult 1991 American surrealist sci-fi drama film, adapted from the 1959 novel of the same name by William S. Burroughs (Taking Tiger Mountain). It is written and directed by undisputed master of the bizarre David Cronenberg – eXistenZ, Crash) who pulls out all the stops to make this film a real rollercoaster ride.

It is available in the UK from 17th April 2023, following a 4K restoration approved by David Cronenberg, courtesy of Arrow Video.

“Somebody’s stealing my roach powder. Somebody’s got it in for me.”

Bill Lee (Peter Weller – RoboCop, Star Trek Into Darkness) is a former junky who has made a new life for himself working as an exterminator. He is doing well until he unexpectedly runs out of roach powder mid job. It turns out that his darling wife Joan (Judy Davis – Husbands and Wives, The Man Who Sued God) has been shooting it up to get high.

She persuades him to try for himself and before he knows it things begin to go from bad to worse. He is arrested by city narcotics, who charge him with posession of a dangerous substance. While in custody, he hallucinates tthat a giant bug has recruited him as an agent and requested that he kill his wife. The bug claims that she is an emeny agent working for Interzone Incorporated, a shady operation located in North Africa.

He refuses and goes to see Dr. A. Benway (Roy Scheider – Jaws, The French Connection), a specialist in bug powder addiction, who gves him a black powder to mix in with it. What could possibly go wrong? An unfortunate accident leads him to the city of Interzone, a weird and wonderful place where noone is who or what they seem and becomes the very thing he was seeking to avoid, a writer.

“It’s a Kafka high. You feel like a bug. Try some.”

Naked Lunch is a very strange film and love it or hate it, you can’t help but be moved by it in some way. David Cronenberg has always had an uncanny knack of tapping into the most surreal and unexpected areas of the human consciousness and this film is certainly no exception.

Cleverly written and somehow leaving you with more questions than answers, this film is a must own for sci-fi fans and this new release provides a fantastic 4K restoration, allowing to you to experience the fantastic creature effects in all their glory (maybe a little too much at times!) and bringing out the films’ true potential. The soundtrack from Howard Shore (The Hobbit Trilogy, Hugo) has also never sounded better.

Also included are lots of special features, see below. This one is well worth adding to your collection.

“Lift is unkind. I’m doing a job for a friend. The centipedes, Edward. The centipedes are getting downright arrogant. They’re starting to attack his kids.”

Naked Lunch is available to buy on 4K UHD, Limited Edition Blu-ray and an Arrow Store exclusive Original Art slipcase UHD edition from 17th April 2023.


• New 4K restoration from the original camera negative overseen by director of photography Peter Suschitzky and approved by director David Cronenberg
• 4K (2160p) Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
• Original lossless 2.0 stereo and 5.1 audio options
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• Audio commentary by director David Cronenberg
• New audio commentary by film historian Jack Sargeant and screenwriter Graham Duff
• Naked Attraction, a new interview with legendary producer Jeremy Thomas
• Exterminate All Rational Thought, a new interview with star Peter Weller
• Peter Suschitzky on Naked Lunch, a new interview with the celebrated director of photography
• Naked Flesh, a new interview with special effects artist Chris Walas
• A Ballad for Burroughs, a new interview with composer Howard Shore
• Tony Rayns on William S. Burroughs, a new interview with the renowned writer and critic
• David Huckvale on Naked Lunch, a new interview taking a closer look at one of Shore’s most unusual film scores
• A Ticket to Interzone, new visual essay by critic David Cairns
• Naked Making Lunch, archival making of documentary directed by Chris Rodley presented in a new scan from the director’s personal 16mm print and viewable with a new audio interview with Rodley discussing his connection to Cronenberg and the process of making Naked Making Lunch
• Concept Art Gallery, a collection of drawings and maquettes for the creatures of Naked Lunch by Stephan Dupuis
• Theatrical Trailer
• Image Galleries, including never before seen stills from the set courtesy of Chris Rodley
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx
• Double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx
• Six postcard-sized reproduction lobby cards
• 80-page perfect bound collector’s book featuring new writing by critics Vanessa Morgan and Jack Sargeant, plus select archival material including David Cronenberg’s introduction to Everything is Permitted: The Making of Naked Lunch, and a chapter from Cronenberg on Cronenberg

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DirectorDavid Cronenberg
AuthorWilliam S. Burroughs
GenreDrama, horror
StarringPeter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, Roy Scheider, Julian Sands
Available to buy on : Own Naked Lunch Limited Edition on Blu-Ray
Category: Review